Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Happy Anniversary!

Yep…10 years ago today, Senor de la Cruz escorted the lovely Anna Margarita to dinner on their first date. If modern lore is to be believed, the evening went so well, the Senor never returned to his abode. If modern lore is further to be believed, there was some sort of health club tour during the date and a subsequent sigh-up…but likewise, the Senor never returned there either.

Anyway, it wouldn’t be an anniversary without a roadtrip, right?

So off we went this weekend.

On Saturday, the scheduled pick-up time was set for ten a.m. At about eight-thirty I got the first call. “Um, it’ll be more like eleven,” Senor de la Cruz tells me.

Okay, so I took my time.

At about eleven, I got the second call. “Um, we’re leaving in five minutes. And, er…if we wanna do a swing through Jack-In-The-Box, will it make the blog?”

“Yes,” I told him emphatically.

At noon, the Denali pulled into my driveway, and we set out on our journey. Suspiciously, we drove straight through to the McDonalds Bistro in Del Mar. (Ha, the Senor and Senora obviously believe they’re dealing with a rookie here if they think I don’t know they stopped to eat on the way to my house.)

So there we were, a half hour later, driving down this winding canyon road with sheer drops on either side, and the Senor is cramming Cheetos in his mouth at a rapid rate.

“Both hands on the wheel,” the lovely wife commanded. (Which I silently applauded ‘cuz, y’know…I really didn’t want my obituary to read: She died in a tragic Cheetos accident.)

As darkness fell, we arrived at Sycuan, a lovely casino about 15 miles east of El Cajon. The sign greeting us at the entrance sent my spirits plummeting: No one under age 18. This is Indianspeak for “No alcohol here, babe.” Sure enough, no bars, no alcohol. I could see our minutes here were numbered. Especially when our foray to the Texas Hold ‘em Table was less than stellar (with the exception of moi, I might point out—and, as a matter of fact, this was to be the last moment I was ahead the entire trip).

Next stop: Barona. This is the casino you see Kenny Rogers advertise all the time. Another treacherous road, this time west of El Cajon. Another “no one under age 18” sign, and I knew our stay here wouldn’t be long, either.

Next stop: Viejas, up the road a piece. Now, at both Sycuan and Barona, we were told that the booze restriction was because of the dangerous roads. This time, we only traveled a mile off the freeway which was a good sign. Sure enough, yep. This place had bars, entertainment, and a TON of floorspace. Enough to keep us occupied until…approximately two-thirty a.m.

Hey, did you notice, we haven’t checked into a hotel yet? Yeah, that’s because we didn’t make reservations anywhere. So, there we were, traveling up the 15 at 3 in the morning (in the rain) looking for a place to stay. Luckily, our second try resulted in vacancies and by four a.m. we were snug in our Best Western beds with a 1 o’clock check-out.

The next morning, after breakfast/lunch at Keith’s, we continued North? West? East?—as many times as I’ve been there, I couldn’t tell you…past Pala, to Harrah’s where we (BONUS) got rooms for free!

Which was as close to winning as I got all weekend.

Long, sad, story short…Senora de la Cruz and I spent about seven hours at the Texas Hold-‘Em table and it would’ve been a helluva lot easier if I’d just written her a check. Cuz what I lost, she won.

Yes, I awoke the next morning making a solemn vow: MY GAMBLING DAYS ARE OVER…well, at least until three weeks from now when I’ll be hitting the tables in Vegas.

Please. Someone just shoot me.

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